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Wednesday, August 22, 2018, 

Macedonians who join foreign armed forces to face a minimum of five years in prison

Skopje, 22 August 2014 (MIA) - Macedonian Interior Affairs Minister Gordana Jankulovska announced that a proposed bill will make it a crime for Macedonian citizens to take part in foreign armies, police forces, paramilitary or militia forces. Jankulovska said that this amendment to the Criminal Code will be sent to the Parliament in a shortened procedure.

Jankulovska added that the minimum punishment for these crimes will be five years in prison. It will apply to citizens that offer, provide or collect financial assistance or equipment for foreign military forces.

The proposed amendment will also provide four year prison sentences for citizens who incite people to join foreign armed forces, by writing or preparing broadcast material.

- These proposed changes will give us more appropriate and stronger tools to fight against global threats to security and especially against terrorism. It will help us fill up a legal void that was not regulated sufficiently for Macedonians citizens who unlawfully take part in foreign forces, train with them,  minister Jankulovska said, adding that this will be a clear signal such behaviour will not be tolerated.

Asked whether Macedonian citizens are already taking part in foreign conflicts, Jankulovska said she only has operational data that can't be confirmed or denied.

- There is no institution that keeps count of those cases, because this type of behaviour wasn't punishable by previous laws. It happened that we would get information that our citizens were killed in foreign battle zones, but they were not always recruited in Macedonia, some were recruited in Western European countries, Jankulovska said.

The changes to the Criminal Code will not apply to Macedonian citizens who have dual citizenship and join the regular armed forces of their other home country, or take part in missions approved by international organizations.cc/15:52

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